Europe’s finance ministers are panicking: they’ve done everything in their power – or so they believe – to save the Euro, yet the currency is becoming worth less and less. They don’t understand what’s going on, they’ve pumped billions into the Euro and into Europe’s failing economies, yet the European stock markets continue their free fall.
The European Union bailed out Greece, signaled its willingness to bail out other failing states as well if necessary and created a 500-billion emergency fund for the Euro. As Brussels expected, European stock markets recovered immediately after the different rescue plans were announced, and the Euro seemed to recover.
Well, the party lasted exactly one day. After that, the stock markets and the European currency continued their free fall as before. The Euro is now worth a mere 1,236 USD; the lowest point since 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. In other words, Brussels’ expensive plans have been in vain. There’s no way around it: our money has been wasted.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – the leaders of the two most important states using the Euro – realize that we’re seriously in trouble. Both have warned they might withdraw from the Euro if no solutions are found to the crisis. Merkel has even gone so far as to say that the European Union itself is on the brink of collapse.
The old continent’s finance ministers will meet each other Monday in yet another attempt to overcome the crisis. I’m not holding out any hope that they’ll actually succeed in doing so, however. Europe’s problems run much deeper than most of them are willing to admit – even to themselves. The European Union itself has been exposed as weak and instable; European economies are not flexible or strong enough; Europe’s welfare states have become unaffordable. It’s little wonder then that Sarkozy and Merkel are preparing for the collapse of not only the Euro, but of the European Union itself. Other heads of state are wise to do the same.